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Monday, February 4, 2013

Dear IAW...

It was five years ago today that you opened.

It was 2 1/2 difficult years and 200k + later that you closed.

It's time to say goodbye for good. You've occupied my mind for too long, making me feel guilty about your failure. I'm tired of beating up the person I was back then. I need to move on.

I admit it - I was part of the problem. I hated you from the first month that you were open. You were not what I expected and I wanted out. You were mainly my husband's idea and I became angry at him too for how he pushed you on me.

The concept of you was exciting for a little while. There was a part of me that wanted to be the person who could successfully own and run you. I wanted to be more outgoing and involved in our community, even though that's not really my personality. I thought in so many ways that all of my life I had failed at being who I was and maybe if I changed, I would be happier and I would feel better about myself.

The possibility of you failing and how that would make me feel never entered my mind.

We made so many poor choices with you. Sometimes we hired the wrong people to help us. Sometimes we spent too much money on things that didn't matter. At our age we were experienced enough to know these things but still did them wrong. We didn't listen closely enough to God when He surely tried to guide us. There are so many things I would now do differently.

You cost us our retirement and a chunk of our personal monthly budget for a while. My heart knows that we need to trust that God will provide rather than depend upon a nest egg, but it's still a disappoinment.

But all in all isn't it most important that we learn from our experiences, especially the bad ones? And learn, we have. Mistakes with you have helped both of us many times in our work as we've moved forward. And I've learned that I can be happy being me rather than trying to change.

So, instead of feeling guilty or feeling I've failed, maybe I should be thankful for you. Thankful for the experience, thankful for the people we helped through you, and thankful that God delivered us from what could have been a much more messy resolution of you.

So, as an exercise in letting go, I write this farewell to you. I will not speak of you or allow the negative aspects of you to interfere with my thoughts anymore. Rest in peace, IAW.

Your not-so-loyal co-owner,